At 26th MK Scouts we were looking nervously at the weather forecast for the start of the Easter holidays. The troop were off to Lesley Sell in Bromham for their second camp of the term and with rain in the air we were a little worried of a repeat of our time at Tolmers for “Fire and Ice” back in January (for anyone who’s seen coverage of a wet Glastonbury, that should give you an idea of what the mud was like on that one!) Thankfully, whilst it wasn’t the sunniest camp ever, we all managed to stay (mostly) dry and (relatively) clean.

The Scouts at breakfast

At the start of the camp on the Friday evening, Scouts, leaders and parents took advantage of a dry break to race against more rain and darkness to get the camp set up. A magnificent team effort from all saw everything sorted out in good time, with enough evening left for snacks and hot chocolate in the event shelter. We weren’t up too late – everyone was tired from the pitching and the Scouts wanted to settle in to their tents… from which they rose bright and early the following morning.

Our excellent instructor Claire oversees the archers!

Saturday was a day of activities and the Scouts were split into two groups to rotate round their activities. Archery was one of the first on the agenda in the morning for both groups, and everyone managed to hit the targets! We’ve done quite a few archery sessions over the last year, and we’re hoping that some Scouts will be able to earn their “Master at Arms” badge as archers before too long.

Harry G proud of his Gold

The troop were on target with their rifle shooting as well, and this proved popular with quite a few of the Scouts. The range at Leslie Sell has the advantage of being indoors and under cover, so on a slightly inclement afternoon it was a good place to get out of the elements for a few moments.

Socrates takes aim while Jessie reloads

The same could not be said sadly for the pedal car track, alas! A wet week had left the course heavy going, with too many puddles to pedal. The first group unanimously declared that it was undriveable. Luckily, the centre staff were very understanding and let us switch to the indoor bouldering wall for that slot instead. Scouts put their recent visit to Climb Quest to good use to practice horizonal traversing. The last activity we had booked was artificial caving, as over this year we’re working with the Scouts to complete the Caving badge.

Chris et al on the traverse wall

For the evening, we’d originally planned a meal of pasta and meatballs, cooked by the Scouts themselves… however in the run-up to the event we were invited to “Iftar under the Stars” by the Muslim Scout Fellowship. This was a fantastic opportunity for the Scouts to learn about Ramadan, to try some Arabic crafts and to join the Muslim Scout Fellowship in breaking their fast with a meal of curry and rice (or pizza and chicken for the less adventurous!).

Deep concentration for applying Henna

We also had a talk from an Imam about the place of Ramadan and fasting, where the Scouts had opportunities to ask questions. Our 26th MK scouts certainly asked their share! All in all it was a fantastic event and we were very grateful to be invited.

Listening and asking questions

The evening finished off around the campfire, with stories, songs and sketches in the best Scouting traditions. We were joined by some Cubs and Beavers from other groups at the site, and of course, enjoyed lots of marshmallows.

The infamous “Baby Bumblebee” song 🙂

That just left the Sunday morning, and a later start for the tired Scouts. They unanimously voted the ground too wet to try our booked assault course activity, and instead we focused on a group effort to clear and tidy the camp to get everyone off home on time – steadily improving weather also meant we managed to get the tents down mostly dry – a great relief to the leaders. Well done to all our Scouts for making this a fun and successful camp!